optical chiasma The female vagina has always been a monologue in our society; a topic only for the female herself, or on rare occasion, between several females. The vagina has never been a topic for males. I distinctly recall in the sixth grade when the health care lady came in to talk to the girls about their periods and sent all of the boys out of the classroom. Since day one of our sexual education, we have learned that itís okay to put a six-foot overhead of a penis on the board, or to draw an ejaculating penis inside the gazebo in uptown Forest, or make endless jokes involving the cleaning of a test tube during a chemistry class. (Wow, that tube is really frothing!) But why has the vagina become so mute, such an organ of shame?

Why is it that many females can easily distinguish the scrotum from the shaft, and yet so many males are still happily oblivious that girls actually have three holes for excretion? Why do we all know what erectile dysfunction is, but how many peopleómale or femaleóknow what a yeast infection is (it has nothing to with bread) or what causes vaginismus? (Itís the involuntary spasm of vaginal muscles, disallowing penetration, usually caused by psychological trauma regarding sex.) Itís not the malesí fault for this ignorance, in fact, itís society. For whatever reason, the penis is something to learn about, while the vagina is nobodyís business.

The same goes for masturbation. Males can easily talk about ďwhacking offĒ, sometimes on a friendís front bushes without expecting to be caught, (surprise surprise!) while females never speak about their own masturbation. Itís rare to interrupt a crowd of girls to hear one saying, ďSo, I was playing around with my clitoris last night when IÖĒ. Why is this so taboo? Why is it improper for females to discuss their own sexual ventures? Itís considered private and mortifying for a girl to masturbate, something that she isnít supposed to do, while for males itís a logical method of sexual release. Perhaps this unwarranted secrecy is what causes the common idea that males have larger sexual drives. (ďI didnít want to have sex, but Iím a male, soÖĒ) Has it ever occurred to males that perhaps girls think about sex and require release just as much?

This concealment goes especially for the female menstrual cycle. A few weeks ago I was teaching some grade nines in my peer tutoring class when one male brought up the word tampon. I said doubtfully, ďDo you even know what a tampon is used forHe shrugged for a while before suggesting, ďBirth control

Nobody wants to know, and at the same time, males are more than willing to smugly bring up PMS when their girlfriend is acting unpleasant. How many males actually know what the acronym stands for, or itís other symptomsóbased on knowledge from more than just a Motrin commercial? They know that we can get cramps, but can they discern between menstrual cramps and the cramp you can get in your side of you go for a run without stretching first? How many males have actually asked their girlfriends what itís like when she has her period? How many males understand what a tampon actually does, what Toxic Shock Syndrome is, how much blood she loses during her period, or why she keeps craving salty food? How many males know that the term ďon the ragĒ dates back to ancient civilization when menstruating women, for lack of sanitary napkins or tampons, used rags of cloth to absorb the blood lost from the uterine walls, or that back then for a woman to menstruate was a holy and sacred thing? Or that in traditional Native culture, a girlís first menstrual cycle was often punctuated with a berry fast and a retreat into the woods, and women were not permitted to attend pow-wows during their periodsónot because of being ďdisgustingĒ or ďmoodyĒ, but because their spiritual power during their period was considered too strong?

Of course, the males usually rationalize that they donít want to know. Itís disgusting, right? Itís blood, itís gucky! Of course, these are the same males who couldnít tear their riveted eyes away from the wounds of gunshot soldiers in their Playstation games. So it isnít the blood. Perhaps itís the vagina. Well, I think weíve proven that the majority of males donít object to the presence of a vagina in a girl. In fact, if they came along a girl without a vagina, they would probably call her a mutant freak. So perhaps itís the blood coming from the vagina, a combination thing! Well, it canít be that bad a thing, because to take a virgin is usually considered pretty novel feat in the list of stereotypical manly things to do, and the breaking of the hymen almost always causes blood loss.

Thus, I can think of only two reasons for this vaginal fear: a) conditioning by society that the period is repulsive and gross (douching and feminine deodorants donít do much to dissuade the belief that there is something unnatural about the vagina which must be cured) and b) fear of the unknown.

For the first reason, what is really so unnatural about a vagina anyway? Each of us (save for the occasional test tube baby) was fertilized and squeezed painfully out of one of our holes, hopefully always the same hole. As well, our periods arenít just there once a month for kicks; before the blood starts our bodies prepare an ovum, (read: egg) which will attach itself to the wall of the uterus and wait patiently for fertilization. In the event that no sperm decides to make a dash for it, the walls of the uterus which were becoming rich with blood to nurture the ovum will release the aforementioned blood via the vagina. It may seem weird that we release blood, but it is no more unnatural than releasing semen.

For the second reason, the fear of the unknown, we can only solve it through education. (As a side note, I have heard of two different ways to effectively teach the concept of the holes to malesóeither create a putt-putt golf platform with one hole that goes nowhere pleasant, one hole thatís too small for the ball to go in, and one hole thatís just right, or you can, allowing for the use of nostrils and a limber spine, analogize the woman to a bowling ballónot that Iím suggesting violence for educational purposes.) But until we encourage this education for both males and females in the first place, the attempted eradication of this ignorance will be futile.

Iím sick of vaginas being dirty little secrets.

Itís time to have vagina dialogues instead.
flies well taken, optical.

"Vagina Friendly" --feminist pick-up-line

Freud's experiences with hysterical women having paralyzed hands from their fear/guilt from masturbation are very instructive. (not to mention the whole penis-envy thing. projection perhaps? it seems men are the ones worried about their manhood...)

It's no simple issue. Societal distaste for licking pussy has transferred onto yours truly, and the g/f suffers for it. Would that i were free of such misgivings. It's a great toy, really. Have fun.
dudeinanigloo I absolutely agree. I talk about jacking off all the time with my friends, and it even sometimes comes out in conversation subconsciously. Yet, whenever girls listen, they get nervous, and they often walk away from the conversation. I also never, and I mean NEVER hear girls talk amongst themselves about masturbation.

I believe also that it is society's fault for teaching girls that masturbation is wrong. I think that the female body is a wonderful thing, and that girls should take advantage of their ability to achieve multiple orgasms (sigh).

I also agree with optical chiasma that the only way to change society's views about female masturbation is through education. It also needs to start at an early age.

I hope some girls check out these posts sometime in the future...
optical chiasma thanks for the support! My presentation on this got mixed reviews...immediately after it, when the people died down from laughing, there was an awkward pause in which no one could say anything because of the social taboo. It's a sad thing. I masturbate. 040327
misstree many props.

i personally have taken on such reservations in meself, swapping masturbation stories with the boys, freeing myself of embarassment with the word "cunt," and generally embracing my femalehood as a-ok and if people giggle embarassedly when i explain that i have a hula-hoop as birth control in my cooter (big plastic ring that releases hormones), then maybe they'll be a little less embarassed the next time they're confronted with such a "taboo" concept. i also have to give smiles to dearest .fallen, who has (likely unwittingly) helped me reclaim the power of the word "cunt" and make me feel much better about having the plumbing that i do.

society shifts at glacial rates. make yourself more comfortable, and it will spread. much much props for this post. *curtsies*
dudeinanigloo The human body is not a bad thing. Neither is masturbation. Neither is curiosity. We need to stop this century-old crap and move to a higher level of thinking.

I also masturbate.
ferret i masterbate. but i'm not a woman. but if i were, i would probably masterbate. 040417
realistic optimist kill bill vol. II 040417
poet penis_conversation 040417
Em why did you let me do that?

i dunno. i thought you were the one in control.

indigo_is_blue I think vaginas are the most beautiful thing on the planet, and Im glad I have one. Our local newspapers and televsion programs can say "penis" as many times as they want, but they can only say vagaina ONCE per newscast or newspaper.
It was an issue during the Vagina Monologs performance. But they posted the name on the marquee outside the highschool where it was being performed, and I bout lept out of my seat when I saw it. (we were driving)
Borealis I enjoyed this immensely. 040725
zspookster bravo, thank you. i almost cried. (no, really. though that's just because i'm an angry, insecure, confused pissed off teen and i'm so sick of all the bullshit in the world, so hearing someone else address some of it in such an educated manner was relieving and great, but also intense.) 040808
briar how does a female masturbate? 041212
a thimble in time monologue is masterbation
dialogue is sex
the language of the body
is the most difficult to understand,
it's an unchoreographed ballet
and the limbs must dance
and the organs must mime
and deep inside
they find one another
a shared rhythm in the night
stork daddy i love me a bloody mary in the morning. 041213
silentbob I hear girls talk about masturbation all the time.
I hear guys talk about masturbation less than i used to.
Society IS to blame for the vagina's invisibility in the class room, etc
but i wouldn't it isn't male's faults. i mean, in general, it's the patriarchy that is to blame for this, but in a case by case basis you can't say it isn't a guy's fault for being ignorant of the vagina, because at some point he should take it upon himself to fucking learn, and this goes for me too.
Men need to take more responsibility.
If a guy has the opportunity to look further into something and doesn't and just remains ignorant we can't say he isn't at least partially to blame.
And maybe this is just me, but i feel that around here it seems more acceptable for women to be more open about their masturbation than males.
If an adult male brings up masturbation he is lauded as juvenile and compared to a 14 year old horny boy.
but if an adult woman brings up her own masturbation, maybe around here it seems she is applauded for taking control and being mature...
im saying this is a good thing. but not fore boys.
stork daddy i'm all for being exposed more to vaginas. 041214
misanthropic me I specifically enjoyed silentbob stated we should look further into this... it made me giggle, but while some vaginas allow you to see kidneys, others... well you're lucky if you can see in at all.. 050101
(the author)

Clarification in belief: The fault is both with ladies and gents. There are some things that we don't want to admit, and some things that they don't want to know. But for both sides, in most cases, we should.
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